(NEW YORK, N.Y., 6/28/2017) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) said it received a letter threatening extermination, torture, and rape just hours before receiving an award from the New York City Council for the civil rights organization’s work helping hate crime victims, mobilizing against President Trump’s ”˜Muslim Bans,’ and fighting for social justice.
CAIR-NY says the NYPD is investigating the threatening letter as a potential hate crime.
The New York City Council award was presented to CAIR-NY at a celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
“We are humbled by the recognition of the New York City Council for our civil rights work, and simultaneously determined to forge ahead despite the deplorable threat we received,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “This threat will not intimidate us or detract from our unshakeable resolve to ensure American Muslims and all targeted communities can practice their faith freely as ensured by our laws.”
“We’re outraged to see our staff targeted, but we know we’re just one of many other Muslim institutions that have been threatened or attacked in recent months,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This threat and the threats against other Muslim New Yorkers, show why recognition from the City Council is so vital to our mission. As long as our Muslim brothers and sisters are being attack, all New Yorkers must come together to vocally support their right to practice their faith. Despite this threat, we remain committed to the proposition that no New Yorker should have to choose between their religion and their safety, and we’re honored to have the City Council recognize the importance of our work to make that a reality.”
It appears that the threatening letter originated in the United Kingdom, and it bore similarities to recent threats against New York’s Masjid Manhattan. After those earlier threats, as well as other anti-Muslim incidents around New York State, CAIR-NY called for greater protection for local mosques and Muslim community centers.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
CAIR-NY recently released a report showing a 560 percent increase in 2016 anti-Muslim incidents in New York compared to the previous year. The same report showed that more than half of 2016 anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York occurred in the last 7 and a half weeks of the year, following Donald Trump’s election as President.
CAIR-NY is calling upon Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to the organization. Contact us by calling (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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